Booker, Tucson, AZ

Hi! I’m Booker and here’s my story.

In April of 2010 the police came to my house and did a drug bust. I guess once they do that, dogs like me usually end up at this place called a shelter or animal control. They made me stay there for a few days and they kept saying I was aggressive, so they were going to put me to sleep.

This nice lady who worked there thought I was special though and she knew she could help me. So she saved me with a rescue called Adopt-a-Bull, and took me home to be a foster dog. There were a lot of dogs at her house and I think it helped me get used to being in a good place.

After about 4 months my foster parents decided it was time to find a forever home for me. One home brought me back. :-( I’m still not sure why; I was being a good boy.

Then I met my Mama. She came to see me, and then came back and took me to the park. I love rolling in the grass because we don’t have a lot of that here in Tucson. After the park, she took me back to my foster home but on the way there, she pulled over and told me she thought I was special too. I gave her a big kiss.

I had to have a sleepover to make sure the cats liked me and I was good. I even got to go to another park and watch a soccer game. Two days later, I went home! :-)

Things were great! I had to go to class to learn not to pull on my leash — I went by myself because other dogs still kind of bothered me. My Mama said I learn very fast and that it was time to go to class with other dogs. I learned very fast in that one too, and the other dogs weren’t so bad either. Pretty soon I was out of classes to go to at that place. My Mama was so proud of me!

I was happy at my new home, then my Mama got sick. She has these things called seizures and was gone for a while in the hospital. I kept trying to tell her I felt funny when the seizures came too, but she didn’t listen to me. I’m not a fan of barking so I would just lick her and lick her. She would tell me to stop but I wouldn’t listen because she wasn’t listening to me. All I could do when the seizures came was stand over her until she woke up. Sometimes I would sit on her too. Mama was very weak after her seizure so I always helped her back to the couch so she wouldn’t fall again.

Finally Mama started listening to me and back to school we went. Now I am a service dog! I go with my Mama everywhere and I wear this funny vest. (I don’t mind though it reminds me that I am working to help her.) Sometimes we would ride the bus and people would be scared of me but now we have a car because I can tell Mama to pull over if she is going to have a seizure. Luckily I haven’t had to do that yet because I really like our car and I don’t want them to take it away again. They say I give my Mama independence, whatever that means.

I have another job too. I am a Pit N Proud Ambass-a-dog. I go to a bunch of things to show people that pit bulls are good dogs too. I share my story with everyone and talk about how I help my mom. I may have come from a scary situation but now I have to make sure other dogs have the chance to be happy like me. My mama and foster mama tell me I change people’s minds about dogs like me. But I love my jobs because I get to make new friends, like this is a little girl I met at the Book Festival in October. I made my Mama go see her. She has to be in a special chair and her mama says she has seizures too. I made her laugh when I kissed her hand.

My new friend learned to pet me nicely. I didn’t mind when she was patting my head hard but her Mama said not all dogs are as nice as me. :-) That’s why although I still like people better than dogs, I know I have a job to do. I think some people are scarier than dogs because they don’t want dogs like me around. I hope I can help more people feel differently about that.

In November, I was officially diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis. This means my larynx does not open all the way and therefore I cannot breathe correctly. I have so many new friends and they have all been so supportive. My family raised a lot of money for my care and I had my surgery on Monday November 19th. I’m now in recovery and doing better than ever. :-)

Come follow my adventure on my Facebook page, Booker the Pit Bull Service Dog, where I will forever promote positive responsible dog ownership, prove that Pit Bulls are not monsters, and that all dogs deserve a second chance at a good life. I will also continue to support our local shelter Pima Animal Care Center as well as rescue groups to help save dogs like me!

I am Booker. I am a service dog. I am an Ambass-a-Dog. I am Strength. I am Courage. I am Loyalty. I am Love. Thanks for reading my story!

Parent: Dawn

Editor’s Note: On August 12, 2014, Booker crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He took a turn for the worse and his brokenhearted mama made the hardest, kindest decision she could make. Booker’s mama wrote: “He was an exuberant boy with a huge tongue, tiny ears, a sparkle in his eye and a typical big ole’ blockhead. It turns out the biggest thing was actually his heart.”

Although we are not ready to say goodbye, we know Booker is now pain-free. You will truly be missed, Booker.

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